Facing the Fear Factor with Faith
I like to use acronyms. For the word HUSBAND, the Lord gave me this acronym. I had it made into a framed calligraphy and gave it to my husband for his birthday one year.
Submit to you,
Believe in you,
Never leave you, and
for you are my beloved.
For 12 years, I worked full-time as a teacher. Life got busy. Over the years of grading papers, I got frustrated with perpetual errors, like forgetting to do a section of a test, misspelling a word which was right on the paper, loosing points because an assignment was late, which would make more work for me, etc. So, I came up with an acronym for RESPECT. I taught this to my sixth-grade students ad nauseam and I actually saw it take hold. Here it is:
Read the directions,
Examine the assignment,
Spell words correctly,
Put your answers down,
Examine your work,
Correct your mistakes, and
Turn it in on time.
Facing the Fear Factor with Faith is a topic which came about from a school experience. In a concise week, I experienced victory over a fear factor that had me bound for a few years. I won’t go into the specifics for the privacy of the other individuals involved. However, God taught me through the situation.
Later, God allowed me to experience, what personally felt like a much less trivial, more frightening, scenario. This helped me solidify and victoriously walk out His lesson on Facing the Fear Factor with Faith. Again, the specifics are personal and I won’t be sharing the details.
However, Scripture is replete with experiences for us to follow; that’s why God gave us the Word. We look at the Word Himself, Jesus Christ, to glean truths to help us Face the Fear Factor with Faith. Jesus is the protagonist in the Scriptures and our world, so He will be our example.
Completely human and completely God, Jesus demonstrates for us how to handle fear. The setting for our topic is the Garden of Gethsemane. When we look at the gospel accounts, which record Jesus’ time in the garden, we see in Matthew 26:36-46, Jesus’ disciples are nearby. His closest disciples are allowed to see his sorrow and trouble. This is a point I want to make. Jesus identifies his emotions and allows himself to feel. He asks Peter, James, and John to stay nearby and watch with him. Jesus moves closer in to God, prostrates himself, and prays.
Point two: We too need to press in to God through prayer and posture. Jesus expresses his heart saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Three times Jesus petitions the Father for a reprieve, and yet each time he yields his will to the Father’s will. By the third time, Jesus doesn’t even wake the three. He is resolved to obey His Father.
In Mark 14:32-42, we see the same account. Verse 36 says, “And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’” Mark reveals Jesus’ intimacy with the Father via his “Abba” reference. This verse 36 also shows us a key step. Not only is the relationship between Jesus and His Father very close, Jesus knows God’s characteristics and capabilities too.
In the account of Luke 22:39-46 the phrase “as was his custom” shows another key factor in life. For something to be a custom, it happens often. In vs. 40, Jesus says, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” This verse speaks to me about many things, the importance of prayer, the caution of being idle, and the importance of heeding Christ’ warnings. If we are praying, we are active, conversing with our Lord. The opposite reveals if we are idle then we could enter into temptation. Peter was warned earlier in Luke 22:31-34 that Satan demanded to have him, that he might sift him like wheat.
Luke’s testimony of this event is the only one with an angelic reference. Verse 43 says, “And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.” I love how observant Luke is and how unique each disciple’s perspective is in each of the gospels. Father gave us a wonderful gift in these eye-witness accounts.
The book of John does not have the Gethsemane account of Jesus praying for the cup to pass from him. However, it does have Jesus’ teaching and prayer in chapters 14, 15,16, 17. These passages are rich with God’s promises, the workings of God’s kingdom, and comfort.
So, with my love of acronyms, here is one for FAITH.
F = Feelings are real and allowed, identify and acknowledge them.
A = Ask for prayer back up, but know you will fight your fear Alone. You’re not Alone, however, for Abba and his Angels are with you Always.
I = Identify God’s traits and be Intimate with Him. It is Important to Invoke His promises and pray His Word.
T = Three Times you may ask. Jesus asked three times to have the cup of God’s wrath removed. Paul prayed three times that the thorn in his flesh be removed. (2 Cor. 12:7-10). If God hasn’t removed the cup by the third petition, you’re going Through the Trial. Trust Him for He is faithful and will see you Through.
H = Humbly yield your will to God’s will and know your Hour has come. Honor God with your actions, words, and thoughts.
With our current world situation in May, 2020, many temptations to fear present themselves. Instead of yielding to fear, put your faith in Jesus Christ, who loves you. He felt the fear, resolved to obey in spite of it, took our place on the Cross, and paid the price for our sins. Honor Him today by believing in Him. Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, will help you do the rest.
By Laura Hamo, March 15, 2013, from a speaking event at a local chapter of Aglow International. Modified May 4, 2020.